Increasing Engagement through Feedback

Increasing engagement through feedback helps your organisation and your people thrive. To give you and your organisation a better chance of having engaged and motivated people, do not rely on the annual performance appraisal.

Is the Annual Performance Review Broken?

The annual performance feedback process is designed to help your people develop and your organisation thrive. Why then do so many employees around the world feel disengaged and switched off?

In the United Kingdom, 92% of all employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged. This can be terminal for the future of your organisation. Why is this?

Traditionally organisations roll out the review process with a fanfare of excitement. “We love our people”, “We are a People-centric Organisation”. The problem is that this is only an annual event. The leader and employee often strangers to each other.

Do you know managers and leaders who smile once a year? Does your boss start wanting to understand you and your development needs on a certain date annually? This box-ticking exercise does not help anyone.

How Regular Feedback Drives Engagement

Do not throw the annual review out just yet. Delivered in conjunction with regular feedback or coaching can add significant value to your people and your organisation.

Driving positive engagement within your organization is achievable by providing constructive and regular coaching for your people. This needs to be a regular occurrence. Planned, yet, unforced and constructive.

Two-way conversations which result in a clear development plan and increased engagement.

In the annual review, nothing should come as a surprise. Regular feedback sessions make sure that there are no skeletons in the closet. This will drive engagement and productivity.

According to Gallup

  • Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability. than those not receiving.
  • Turnover rates were 14.9% lower than for employees who received no feedback.
  • 92% of respondents agreed with, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”

Why regular feedback is needed

  • 8 % of the UK workforce are highly involved and enthusiastic in their work.
  • 73% are classified as “not engaged,” meaning they are psychologically unattached and putting little energy or passion into their work.
  • 19% are “actively disengaged,” resentful that their workplace needs aren’t being met and likely to be acting out their unhappiness on the job.

Gallup’s research clearly demonstrates that traditional approaches to people management no longer motivate employees. Workers are now placing a heavy premium on jobs that provide them with developmental opportunities. Managers who help them make the most of those opportunities are prized.

Continually Coaching Employees

The traditional employee feedback process places a great deal of emphasis on a single annual review. However performance is not an episodic event, it happens every day. Continual coaching helps managers and employees to create an ongoing conversation. Performance expectations and individualized developmental needs monitored regularly. Great managers ensure these conversations are purposeful and personalized, without leaving employees feeling micromanaged.

Steps for Increasing Engagement

Use these 8 steps to Increasing Engagement through Feedback

  1. Hold regular one to ones
    • You should be meeting regulary with your direct reports. Encorporate these sessions, however make sure that specific time is dedicated to the coaching.
    • This helps builds up a rapport with your people.
    • Encourage an environment where you and your employee feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback.
    • This will become business as usual for you and your people.
  2. Preparation prevents poor performance
    • Did you have any actions from the last time you met? Deliver on them.
    • Encourage your people to prepare also. This session will be a positive and valuable time for them and you.Constructive Feedback
  3. Remove emotions
    • People get defensive when feedback is given. Be aware and manage appropriately.
    • Ensure that you can manage and control your own emotions during these conversations.
  4. Help them help themselves
    • Offer different perspectives and ways of working through challenges.
    • Part of your job as a leader is to help your employees see the bigger picture while they’re focused on their daily tasks.
  5. Development Opportunities
    • Highly involved and enthusiastic employees are engaged in development opportunities with their leader.
    • Work together on the opportunity, it needs to be challenging.
    • Challenge them to think like a leader.
  6. Motivation is key
    • Make sure that you understand what makes them tick. What is their 1-year, 5-year or 10-year goal?
    • Align the development opportunities to their goals and your employees will thrive.
  7. Development Plan
    • Document the development plan. Your employee will keep this updated.
    • Agree on timelines and keep the action plan ‘SMART’.
    • The development plan is owned by the employee. Clearly, they need to understand that you will support them, but they need to ‘own it’.
  8. Support
    • Support your people in their development, help them achieve.
    • Keep holding regular and open conversations around the development of your people.
    • The annual performance reviews will be a lot easier.
    • Book the next meeting now!

How often?

It is often difficult to make time for your people. However, the leader of tomorrow needs to invest in their people today. For your direct reports, you should be meeting regularly anyway. Incorporate these sessions making sure that they are not deferred to operational concerns.

As Leaders, we have a responsibility to provide our people with the tools and environment to develop. Each of us must help them achieve their goals.


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